Consulting Services

Restaurants are challenging. In my career I’ve seen many highs and many lows. It’s an incredibly challenging world based off the most basic human ritual: eating.

Creating a beautiful experience for a guest is one of the most rewarding parts of working at or owning a restaurant or catering company. To watch your guests’ eyes light up when they take a bite of your homemade ravioli and pesto never gets tiring.

But this business is tiring. It has so many moving pieces, and the financial rewards are fluid. Commodity prices are constantly changing. Rates of pay and regulations are constantly being added to the equation. Your profit margins go up or down depending on how in control of the ship you are.

As your consultant, I will help you bring control to any part of your business that you feel has become out of your control. My goal is always to make an impact by building the process to make your business stronger than it has ever been.

So let’s begin!

The key to a well-run business is organization. It starts with your core and cultural values. I will assess your business looking at these key areas:

  1. Management and communication structure
  2. Pricing, product, ingredients and costs
  3. Labor management
  4. Training and recruiting
  5. Financials
  6. Human resources procedures—which can make or break your business in today’s litigious world
  7. Training materials, log books and internal communications between managers
  8. Hospitality—making “guests for life” versus simply providing service (without hospitality, you will never leave an impression)
  9. Relations between front of house and back of house
  10. Menu and food knowledge

In today’s world, an objective outsider can really make the difference in your business, helping to develop your guest base and, most importantly, your people.

Your initial consultation is at no cost to you and includes personal secret shopping performed by myself and one of my associates. From there, we decide on a plan of action after you receive a full report on your business. I and my team will then work with you to achieve your goals and build a strong foundation for your business to succeed and overcome any obstacle put in front of it.

Alta’s Kitchen will be there for you!

Let’s dig a little deeper into the analysis we do to support your business and to help you build a solid training program and the awareness that ours is a business of pennies.

As discussed, analysis takes place in both the front of house and culinary operations as well as your back of house office team. Your accounting team is extremely important, but accountants are jobless if you are not bringing in the maximum revenue potential of your restaurant. You are creating a culinary and hospitality vision. Each seat must have a price and a target revenue. As a consultant, I will work hard with your accounting team to maximize revenue and profit. But much of this works takes place in your dining room and not in your office. If your management team is an office team, then you are losing money.

So what impacts your maximum bottom line? Some items are easy:

Food cost: We will analyze vendors and pricing and cross-shop to find the highest quality at the best prices. Is your team using an order sheet or simply ordering by their eyes? Are they weighing product when it arrives and taking the time to check quality while the vendor is on site?

Beverage cost: We will analyze your vendors, the pricing of your beverage program and, more importantly, the integrity of the team that is purchasing and selling your beverages. If there is any area of your restaurant where every penny matters, it is at the bar.

Other items are less obvious but equally important and impact your bottom line and your top line. With rising hourly rates and removal of tip credits, the ability of your team becomes more important to the success of your operation. If you are a restaurant with more than 10 voids of produced items a night, then you are losing money.

At Alta’s Kitchen, we will analyze how your operation runs and create the materials needed to properly train your team to be successful and to understand your company’s core, cultural values and the products it creates.

Ask yourself, how is your team trained? Many times training responsibilities are passed from your management team to lead servers. Who then is in charge of the training, the manager or the server? How trained are your lead servers? What habits will they instill in your new team members that you don’t want in your establishment?

Every restaurant needs a core training program with materials that can make the staff successful. Materials that we can create for you include:

  1. Menu scripts and flash cards that teach each team member the ingredients of the food and the flavors the guests will experience.
  2. Training guidebook that will outline the rules of the house, your steps of service and the art of hospitality.
  3. Wine and beverage information to enable your team to upsell great wines and drinks.
  4. Training guides for the culinary team and a programs to get a new line cook trained to cook recipes the same as the chef and to get the dishwashers and porters trained to use chemicals correctly and to lower the incidence of broken dishes and glassware.
  5. Management and accounting structure to ensure that all money is accounted for and gets to the office.